Handmade Onesies

Katie, my best friend of forever, had the wonderful gift of a new baby girl this year. Miss Hannah Grace was born back in August and I had to make her something special for her first Christmas. I figured onesies are a staple in the baby wardrobe, so I added a few details for a handmade gift for the little one.

First I used some fabric scraps that were a b-day present from Lesley to craft this adorable cupcake design. I used Amy Butler for the cup, and some pink fleece from Wal-mart. * Note- have you ever visited the fabric section of Wal-Mart?? Super cheap!!! Anyway, I used interfacing to bond the two pieces together then hand stitched them to the onesie ( because I couldn't figure out how to maneuver the onesie on my sewing machine ). Then I added a cute red heart button as a topping for the cupcake.

Second, with more gift fabric, I drew this little sparrow pattern. Dwell Studio was my inspiration with their adorable baby line. I used the same pink fleece for the belly of the bird. Interfaced again and hand stitched it on. I also used a button for the eye and hand stitched using brown thread the beak and feet. On the back of both I used another piece of interfacing on the inside of the onesie to make it extra soft against Hannah Grace's belly and to ensure that all my hard work didn't come undone. Fabric Check was used on the edges of the fabric to keep them from fraying in the wash.

I also used my fabulous neighbor once again for her bib-making tutorial and crafted two bibs for Hannah Grace, but I forgot to get pics of them before dropping the gift in the mail. I think I'm getting better at my sewing projects and I'll be doing even more since I scored one of my gifts from my wish list!!

What did you get/give that was handmade this Christmas?


Holy Present Wrapping!

Today I finally finished wrapping gifts for our sponsor family. We decided to shop for a needy family instead of for ourselves this year. Erik's and my family all chipped in and created a huge mound of gifts for the family of 5.

There are two boys, 2 &6 years old, and two girls, 4 &8 years old and they are cared for by their grandmother. Total we got them each a new winter coat, pants, shirts, sweaters, PJs, socks, toys, drawing materials, hygiene gifts, and even a huge tub of food for Christmas Dinner. I really wish I could be a fly on the wall come Christmas morning at their house. This was one of the most fulfilling shopping season ever.

Along with the gifts we bought, I also made a stocking for each of the kids and grandmother. I sewed a felt initial for each kid and used a pretty paisley for grandmother's. I put their toothbrushes, shower gel, and other treats inside. I hope they enjoy them.

Thanks again to everyone that helped out, and to Lesley and her family to pitching in and helping another family at school! I hope you all are able to do something selfless and great for someone this Christmas!!


Christmas Sewing

I am striving to have an all-Handmade Christmas this year. Erik and I are actually not buying Christmas presents this year. We decided, along with our wonderful families' help, to sponsor a family at my school. The family has hit hard times and were not going to be able to have a Christmas on their own. So we shopped for them. But I also wanted to give something special to those who I love and appreciate. Some will get yummy treats and some will get a handmade gift.

I have been busy sewing up a storm and have realized that I need some gear to make things easier. I would love to have a space to lay out and cut my fabric- other than my bedroom floor. This would do nicely:

Straight lines are difficult to manage on said bedroom floor, so if I had one of these to use on the table above, I'm sure to get even lines:

Don't want to scratch that new table, must have a mat:

{ All products from Joanns.com }

Now that I have some new tools, these would be the first fabrics that I would like to create with:

{ Fabrics from Fabricworm.com }

Do you have any special gifts that you're making this year?


Saving Pennies, Ch. 1

Erik and I are simple people. We like things to be as easy and stress, worry, drama, anything 'free'. So when we were constantly clicking the buttons on our thermostat up and down every morning and night to get the most efficient use of our heating and cooling system, I knew we needed a better solution.

We picked up this little guy from Hunter. It is their 7-day Energy Star Programmable Thermostat. It was a chore to install- I highly recommend keeping the help line number at arm's distance- although to be fair, I have zero experience with electrical stuff, but the guy I spoke to was super nice and knowledgeable. Once it was installed it had to be programmed. I chose the energy star settings that turn the heat low during the night and while we are at work, and then the house gets warmed up in the morning when we are getting ready for work and it is toasty by the time we arrive home and until we go to bed. It has eliminated our need to manually lower the temp. and it gives us the flexibility to change the settings as we need them. Plus it has the awesome ambient red light for the heat and a cool blue for the AC.

I must say, it is working like a charm. Our gas, heat pump system is working great and the gas bill is staying in the low $20 range! This is just another way for us to make the most of our hard earned money to keep our house a cozy home!

What types of money saving upgrades have you made lately?